As someone who has struggled with depression all of her life, who has been on anti-depressants at least 3 of the past 10 years, post partum depression is a very real sword of damocles hanging over my head. Women who have a history of depression are 27 times more likely to suffer PPD, even post partum psychosis.
I am in therapy. I went back more than six months ago because I was having so much trouble dealing with being pregnant again after losing Hope. We had cut back to once every other week, and it had actually been 3 weeks since I last spoke to my therapist for various reasons.
That isn’t the game plan heading into the home stretch. We’re ramping back up to once a week, and she’s helping me arrange for a post-partum evaluation. There are anti-depressants that are safe for breastfeeding moms, and while I would view it as a failure, if I need ones that aren’t badly enough I will switch to formula if it will keep my baby safe. We’re talking about post-partum support to keep me on level enough ground, and the husband will be coming to a session with me in two weeks to talk specifically about what he needs to keep an eye out for and how to help me, and how to deal with a crisis, should it occur.
I hate thinking about these possibilities. I want to believe it will all be okay. But I know that it might not be, and that I do better with a game plan in place.
But what I hate most of all is that my past gives me a reason to be afraid.